Investment fraud will never end. As long as there are naive Filipinos, scammers will continue to fool us, leave us financially broken and emotionally hurt. Some even committed suicide or died of heart-related ailments as a result.
To avoid falling to investment frauds, we need knowledge, and let us be teachable. Because if we’re not, criminals will always get the upper hand.
1. Step back and don’t be greedy. First and foremost, detect yourself of any greed. We are easily smitten if a confident scammer tells us about 20 to 30 percent return after a month.
2. Is the investment firm licensed? Having a business permit, DTI registration and SEC-registered as a corporation is not enough. Ask if it is certified or licensed to take investment from the public. Ask the investment firm if it is a Certified Investment Solicitor. You can search online the certified companies and individuals at the SEC website.
3. The investment company offers a guaranteed return on investment (ROI). This company also offers a fixed ROI, maybe 20%, 30% or even 50%, usually 30 days after.
Even the richest and largest company in the country could not regularly give a 20% fixed return.
Fraud investment firms that offer fixed ROI usually don’t last a long time. They fold up after a few months or years. A few examples of fraud investment firms in parenthesis is the year they closed, are Bancap (1994), Emgoldex (2015), Multitel (2002), Tibayan Group (2003), Francswiss (2007) and Legacy Group (2008).
4. It does not have a physical or tangible product. Many successful legal multilevel marketing companies have products as part of their business model. USANA sells food supplements or vitamins, Nuskin’s products are for grooming and skin improvement.
If a firm does not have a consumer product but relies only on soliciting investment money and recruitment for an investor to earn. Just run far away.
If the company does have products but it is of low quality, and they do not actively promote it, perhaps they’re just using it as a front. They focus on recruitment to make money.
Check if its products are BFAD approved or registered in proper government agencies.
5. Unclear process of the flow of money. Fraudsters will tell the would-be investors that the money solicited would be re-invested in stocks, mutual funds, oil, forex and in several legal industries.
If you ask for details, they could not give a clear explanation. If they can confidently give you details, check number 2. Are they licensed to solicit investment?
6. The founders or owners have a shady history of scams. Get to know the background of the investment company’s founders, the officers and its employees. If you found out that they have a history of fraud, then there’s a big chance that the company is a fly-by-night.
7. The founders or officers have multiple identity or names. If they are secretive about the identity of the founders, it could be a scam. Many scammers hide in multiple names or identities.
So, if you meet Jose, but you met him before as Sonny. Do not give him your money.
The road to earning millions the right way usually takes a long time. Getting rich quickly is oftentimes illegal.
I give a parting shot from Hosea 4:6 in the Old Testament Bible, “My people are destroyed for lack of knowledge: because thou hast rejected knowledge”.